Nigeria prepares as Russia, Rwanda sign nuclear energy pact
As Nigeria works out modalities for the construction of a nuclear research centre and power plant with Russia, the European country has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Rwanda for the peaceful use of nuclear energy.
According to Rosatom, Russia’s state-owned nuclear energy provider, the MoU with Rwanda establishes a legal basis for the implementation of bilateral cooperation in a wide range of areas.
The areas include the development of nuclear infrastructure and programmes aimed at raising awareness on nuclear technologies and their applications in Rwanda, as well as the use of radioisotopes and radiation in manufacturing, agriculture and healthcare.
Rosatom in a statement said both parties would create joint working groups to identify specific projects based on the cooperation.
It stated that the preparation of a framework on intergovernmental agreement between Russia and Rwanda would be the next step, as was the case with Nigeria.
In October 2017, Nigeria and Russia signed several agreements on the construction and operation of a nuclear power plant as well as a nuclear research centre housing a multi-purpose research reactor.
The Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission signed the agreement on behalf of the Federal Government, while Rosatom signed on behalf of the Russian federation.
The deal was reached after a long period of negotiation, with both countries signing their first intergovernmental nuclear co-operation agreement in 2009.
African nations have been embracing prospects of adopting nuclear energy to bridge their energy deficit.
South Africa is currently the only country in Africa with an operational nuclear power plant, which coincidentally produces the cheapest power in the nation.
Recently, Egypt made a deal with Rosatom for the construction of its maiden nuclear power plant in El Dabaa and plans to inaugurate the first unit of the NPP in 2026.